COLLEGE STATION – Chennedy Carter of the No. 6 Texas A&M women's basketball team took down a 23-year old record as she scored 34 points against the U.S. National Team in a 93-63 defeat Thursday night at Reed Arena.
Carter's record-setting performance knocked Michi Atkins of Texas Tech out of the record book, Atkins' 32 points on Feb. 3, 1996 stood as record for a collegiate student-athlete against the US National Team stood for 8,678 days.
The Aggies opened the night on 7-2 run, making three of their first four baskets. The National Team responded by scoring eight of the next 11 points to even the score at 10-10. The scorching hot start from the floor continued for the Aggies into the first media timeout, A&M was 9-for-12 from the field leading 20-16 with 3:42 to play in the first quarter. Team USA closed the first quarter with a 13-6 run to take a 29-26 lead.
Scoring slowed significantly for both teams in the second quarter as the two squads combined to go 10-for-36 from the floor after shooting 55.6 percent in the first 10 minutes. Despite the low scoring, Team USA was able to stretch the lead to 45-35 headed into the locker room.
Carter scorched the USA defense in the third quarter, rattling off 11 points in the third frame to push her past the 30-point mark. The Aggies closed the gap to within nine on two occasions in the quarter, but trailed 69-53 heading into the final 10 minutes of action.
Team USA closed the night on a 22-4 run after the Aggies scored six of the first eight points in the fourth quarter.
· The Aggies fell to 30-7 all-time in exhibition games, losing for the first time in 12 years, falling in 2007 to the National Team (75-24). The last time the Maroon & White lost an exhibition game to team other than the US National Team was 2005.
· Texas A&M was perfect from the charity stripe on the night knocking down all 10 free throws.
· Texas A&M used the starting lineup of Chennedy Carter, Shambria Washington, Kayla Wells, N'dea Jones and Ciera Johnson.
· Chennedy Carter obliterated the A&M exhibition scoring record with 34 points, the previous record was set six days ago by Ciera Johnson as she scored 24 points against Oklahoma City.
· N'dea Jones became the fourth Aggie since 2008 to tally double-digit rebounds in an exhibition game, she corralled 10 rebounds to go along four points.
· Shambria Washington dished out six assists on the night, just off her seven assist night in the previous exhibition contest against Oklahoma City. The senior guard also posted six rebounds and three points on the night.
The Aggies will return to regular season action as they host Duke on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. The game will air on SEC Network Plus, available online through cable and ESPN subscriptions.
Head Coach Gary Blair
"It was very entertaining ball game. We played very good. I loved the experience; I loved the play of Chennedy Carter. This was a show, every team in the country was watching this tonight. Every pro scout and foreign team across the world was watching. This was closer to what they're going to see at the Olympics, the speed, we ran some good sets, we got her some good looks and she created. We needed to have got the ball to Ciera (Johnson) a little more, but I'd like to see one of y'all have Sylvia Fowles guard you and see how good you are in there. A little bit harder but that's why she's a pro."
USA Basketball Women’s National Team Lead Coach Cheryl Reeve
On playing Texas A&M on their tour…
“We appreciated him letting us come here and play. Each of these games along this tour pose a different challenge. In this particular game it’d be a great player, Chennedy Carter, who can do a lot of things. So that was really good for us to be challenged. I know that she had a good time.”
On Carter’s performance…
“We anticipated that Chennedy [Carter] would be really geeked up and rise up in big moments. That’s sort of what she does. She relishes these opportunities. It's all a matter whether you get a couple shots to go down early and you start a fire. That's probably what happened. So, she had her confidence very early in the game. As a game wears on, I think she had 20 at half, so, we held her to 14 in the second half. The mindset for us was one player is not going to beat us. We certainly don't want somebody to score as many as she did, but she's very crafty. She has ability to break it down. We have five of our players that are returning from injuries, so to put them in those situations to guard a player like Chennedy was a big challenge.”
Junior Guard Chennedy Carter
On the game…
“My teammates were doing the best job they could to get me open and give me easy looks. So really, my teammates make the game easier for me. It really was just by setting screens, finding me and looking for me. We all remain patient offensively, and now I just had to let the game come to me and take what the defense gave me. It was really a learning experience for me and my teammates. We’re really trying to get out there, and this was great preparation for us this upcoming season. I'm really glad we got to get out there and played some of the best players in the world.”
On her performances in big games…
“It's fun playing with my teammates. They are really fun to play with. They look for me, and they make the game easier for me. So as far as the bright lights, I really don't pay attention to it. I pay attention to us five, because really, it's us versus us. I just worry about me, my teammates and what we're doing.”
Junior Center Ciera Johnson
On Sylvia Fowles sharing tips after the game…
“It’s an honor and a blessing, as well. Not many people can wake up and say like, ‘Hey, I'm getting to play the best woman in the world today.’ It's a blessing for real, because you don't have to do that. That just goes to show the type of person she is and her character. All of them, they're all nice and was giving us daps at the end of the game. So that goes to show the type of women that they are and that they want to continue to help the game grow.”
On facing Duke…
“Guess what we’ll be doing tomorrow, practice. Of course the game might be a little bit different than the pace of tonight’s game. It’s probably not going to be as fast, might not be as physical but Duke is a good team. They're a solid team and they're going to come out and compete. So, we just played USA. Okay, now we have to move on. Now we get to play Duke. This game is on our record, and we have to look forward to that. Duke is not going to come in and just lay down for us just because we just got done playing the USA team.”